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Why so few all female metal bands?


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29 minutes ago, blaaacdoommmmfan said:

To be honest I'm guessing more women want to be pop stars than metal stars. Could this account for it. 

Some of my female metal friends like pop music (l like pop too) but they prefer metal so would much rather be in metal bands given the choice.  

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Pretty sure we've had this discussion in a couple of threads on here before. Interesting topic, though.

Being female, I can tell you that it's extremely difficult to find other women who like metal (but I've always lived in the southern tier of the US, so I would imagine they might be easier to find elsewhere). Sure, there are certainly women who like metal, but we comprise such a small percentage of what is a massively male-dominated genre. I've never met another female metal fan "in the wild". When I go to concerts, the crowd is usually around 90% male. That number rises even more overwhelmingly with more extreme genres (black and death metal especially, in my experience). When I saw 1349 right before the pandemic, I recall seeing maybe 5 other women in the crowd (of about 300) other than myself. I've been to smaller shows where I was the only woman there.

But back to your question: no, I don't think metal is sexist, nor do I think it ever was (in general). There are bands who have expressed or at least alluded to having sexist opinions but as far as I know, they were always more the exception than the rule. Personally, I've never experienced any direct sexism from anyone at shows; in fact, many of the guys I've met whether they're band members or fans always seem both a little surprised and also happy that I've rescued them from a complete sausage fest lol. The rest seemed indifferent. I always go to shows alone and I've never been treated with anything other than respect despite looking very young and being very petite. I actually tend to feel safer at shows than in other random situations in public despite being surrounded by strange men. I've gotten followed, catcalled, harassed, threatened, and verbally attacked by dudes in ordinary places like the grocery store. That's never happened to me at a metal concert. The worst that's happened is I sometimes get stared at/gawked at, which can be very unnerving, mainly because I have no idea if they're planning to steal my wallet later.

Anyway, back to female metal bands. I think @blaaacdoommmmfan is somewhat correct, but only to a certain degree. You'll definitely find less female metal fans than female pop fans. But part of it I think is also because female metal fans tend to be more socially isolated, I think. For example, let's say there's a female guitarist who wants to join or start a metal band. She might have a guy friend who's into metal who also wants to start a band, but he probably knows several other men who have expressed an interest in starting a band together and have possibly jammed together, who might all be friends or have known each other for a long time, are probably closer and may already have really good chemistry. The woman, on the other hand, is highly unlikely to have enough female friends who are into the same music she is, are musicians themselves, and are interested in starting a band. It's unfortunate and sad, but that's reality.    

Social conditioning is also a factor, for sure. Parents are more likely to enroll their daughter in piano, violin or voice lessons if she's interested in music, whereas boys seem to get to choose whatever instrument interests them. If they like any kind of rock music, that's probably going to be guitar or drums. I remember when I was a kid, I knew many girls at school who took music lessons. Only 2 of them were taking guitar lessons. One of them was a huge country fan. The other was into classic rock and her dad was a guitarist himself. The rest were overwhelmingly students of voice or piano. A few played flute, clarinet, or violin. As for boys I knew who were taking music lessons? Most of them were learning guitar. So it seems to kind of be this idea, perhaps, that many parents have, that certain instruments are more appropriate for girls to learn, and their interest is probably encouraged by music genres besides rock. Think about it. The rare instance you see a metal band with a female member, what music are they playing? If the band has a keyboard, that's usually what she's playing. Or she's the vocalist (in certain genres). If it's a folk metal band, there might be a woman playing the fiddle or another traditional instrument.

When I was in elementary (primary) school, my parents wanted me to learn piano. They strongly encouraged this by taking me to see classical pianists at the performing arts center, forcing me to get involved with our church community and the music director letting me play during services. That's mainly what I played - hymns. Later, I was allowed to take voice lessons, but it was sort of the same thing. I got to take voice lessons so I could sing in the choir at church. They encouraged the interest in music only through classical music, opera, and church music, despite what my own music interests were. Meanwhile, my male cousins got guitars for Christmas or for their birthday as soon as they expressed any interest in playing. I remember telling my mom when I was about 14 I didn't want to play piano anymore and I wanted to take guitar lessons instead, and she said something like "But want you to continue with piano! You play so well! It makes you sophisticated!" I haven't gone near a piano in years and I can't remember much except the basics, although I would eventually like to start playing again, but for completely different reasons. I only sing in the shower or sometimes when I'm listening to Skid Row or Queensryche while cooking dinner (Sebastian Bach and Geoff Tate are very fun to imitate). Never got to take guitar lessons. I've been trying to teach myself, but it keeps getting derailed. 

Sorry, this is turning into a long tangent, but maybe it can shed some light on your question. I think there are a few different factors that contribute to the lack of all-female metal bands, but I don't believe sexism is one of them. I certainly don't think metal is innately sexist.   

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That's an amazingly detailed answer depraved. Your right this answer keeps on coming up. it's a complex question so to just answer with  simple answer will only be part correct. I'm sure this question will pop up again and again.  I will think over what you said and respond when I think it over more. But what you said is a great answer. Lol 😁my parents used to take me to  classical music concerts, ballet, Shakespeare, I hated it at time but my sister and brother loved it. 2 out of 3 isn't bad. 😂

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On 3/12/2021 at 12:55 AM, Depraved said:

Pretty sure we've had this discussion in a couple of threads on here before. Interesting topic, though.

Being female, I can tell you that it's extremely difficult to find other women who like metal (but I've always lived in the southern tier of the US, so I would imagine they might be easier to find elsewhere). Sure, there are certainly women who like metal, but we comprise such a small percentage of what is a massively male-dominated genre. I've never met another female metal fan "in the wild". When I go to concerts, the crowd is usually around 90% male. That number rises even more overwhelmingly with more extreme genres (black and death metal especially, in my experience). When I saw 1349 right before the pandemic, I recall seeing maybe 5 other women in the crowd (of about 300) other than myself. I've been to smaller shows where I was the only woman there.

But back to your question: no, I don't think metal is sexist, nor do I think it ever was (in general). There are bands who have expressed or at least alluded to having sexist opinions but as far as I know, they were always more the exception than the rule. Personally, I've never experienced any direct sexism from anyone at shows; in fact, many of the guys I've met whether they're band members or fans always seem both a little surprised and also happy that I've rescued them from a complete sausage fest lol. The rest seemed indifferent. I always go to shows alone and I've never been treated with anything other than respect despite looking very young and being very petite. I actually tend to feel safer at shows than in other random situations in public despite being surrounded by strange men. I've gotten followed, catcalled, harassed, threatened, and verbally attacked by dudes in ordinary places like the grocery store. That's never happened to me at a metal concert. The worst that's happened is I sometimes get stared at/gawked at, which can be very unnerving, mainly because I have no idea if they're planning to steal my wallet later.

Anyway, back to female metal bands. I think @blaaacdoommmmfan is somewhat correct, but only to a certain degree. You'll definitely find less female metal fans than female pop fans. But part of it I think is also because female metal fans tend to be more socially isolated, I think. For example, let's say there's a female guitarist who wants to join or start a metal band. She might have a guy friend who's into metal who also wants to start a band, but he probably knows several other men who have expressed an interest in starting a band together and have possibly jammed together, who might all be friends or have known each other for a long time, are probably closer and may already have really good chemistry. The woman, on the other hand, is highly unlikely to have enough female friends who are into the same music she is, are musicians themselves, and are interested in starting a band. It's unfortunate and sad, but that's reality.    

Social conditioning is also a factor, for sure. Parents are more likely to enroll their daughter in piano, violin or voice lessons if she's interested in music, whereas boys seem to get to choose whatever instrument interests them. If they like any kind of rock music, that's probably going to be guitar or drums. I remember when I was a kid, I knew many girls at school who took music lessons. Only 2 of them were taking guitar lessons. One of them was a huge country fan. The other was into classic rock and her dad was a guitarist himself. The rest were overwhelmingly students of voice or piano. A few played flute, clarinet, or violin. As for boys I knew who were taking music lessons? Most of them were learning guitar. So it seems to kind of be this idea, perhaps, that many parents have, that certain instruments are more appropriate for girls to learn, and their interest is probably encouraged by music genres besides rock. Think about it. The rare instance you see a metal band with a female member, what music are they playing? If the band has a keyboard, that's usually what she's playing. Or she's the vocalist (in certain genres). If it's a folk metal band, there might be a woman playing the fiddle or another traditional instrument.

When I was in elementary (primary) school, my parents wanted me to learn piano. They strongly encouraged this by taking me to see classical pianists at the performing arts center, forcing me to get involved with our church community and the music director letting me play during services. That's mainly what I played - hymns. Later, I was allowed to take voice lessons, but it was sort of the same thing. I got to take voice lessons so I could sing in the choir at church. They encouraged the interest in music only through classical music, opera, and church music, despite what my own music interests were. Meanwhile, my male cousins got guitars for Christmas or for their birthday as soon as they expressed any interest in playing. I remember telling my mom when I was about 14 I didn't want to play piano anymore and I wanted to take guitar lessons instead, and she said something like "But want you to continue with piano! You play so well! It makes you sophisticated!" I haven't gone near a piano in years and I can't remember much except the basics, although I would eventually like to start playing again, but for completely different reasons. I only sing in the shower or sometimes when I'm listening to Skid Row or Queensryche while cooking dinner (Sebastian Bach and Geoff Tate are very fun to imitate). Never got to take guitar lessons. I've been trying to teach myself, but it keeps getting derailed. 

Sorry, this is turning into a long tangent, but maybe it can shed some light on your question. I think there are a few different factors that contribute to the lack of all-female metal bands, but I don't believe sexism is one of them. I certainly don't think metal is innately sexist.   

As a male I have lots of female friends who are into metal music as I prefer to have female company to male company. I see lots of females that attend metal gigs when ever I go to one too. I suppose it depends on what style of metal you listen to. I listen and go see a lot of gothic metal bands live so that could be a reason. When I went and saw Lacuna Coil last, I went with 3 of my closest female friends. When I saw The Birthday Massacre live (they have metal songs like Blue, Red stars, Pins and needles and Lovers end before anyone says they are not a metal band) there were lots and lots of females in the audience And there were lots of females in the audience when I last saw Tarja Turunen. Also I went to Japan a few years a go to watch the amazing Japanese metal band The Gazette play live and the audience was mainly full of females as is very normal for Japanese metal bands who dress like The Gezette do, look up visual kei if you don't know what that is. You need to just look harder because there is a world full of female metal fans. Also I dress very feminine for a male and in the past I have been made fun of that fact by male metal fans.  

On 3/14/2021 at 11:30 AM, blaaacdoommmmfan said:

That's an amazingly detailed answer depraved. Your right this answer keeps on coming up. it's a complex question so to just answer with  simple answer will only be part correct. I'm sure this question will pop up again and again.  I will think over what you said and respond when I think it over more. But what you said is a great answer. Lol 😁my parents used to take me to  classical music concerts, ballet, Shakespeare, I hated it at time but my sister and brother loved it. 2 out of 3 isn't bad. 😂

Well my response to her answer proves that her answer was not great as she just needs to look harder as this world is full of female metal fans. 

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18 hours ago, Strawberry said:

Well my response to her answer proves that her answer was not great as she just needs to look harder as this world is full of female metal fans. 

Thanks dude. This one has woken me up. I wouldn't say depraved is wrong. She's giving her account of what she sees.Obviously your right there's a big female metal fan base out there for some genres of metal. And they are popular genres. No doubt about that. I know within temptation went top 5 in UK albums chance on one of there releases. 

Last gig I went to. Acid reign at the (80s big 4 UK thrash) Camden underworld, must have been 5% women no joke,   pallbearer 10% women, anthrax 15%women, 

Lovebites,babymetal are all female metal bands. So there's two for you. 

I do think depraved is on to something with her answer though. There's a strong element of logic in what she says. Definitely no definitive easy answer though. 

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  • 3 weeks later...

True haha the only band that all members are female I can remember Is Nervosa and Boy, these girls represent! Hard to say why...me and a friend was learning instruments (I was trying drums and she was trying guitar) but we ended giving up so soon because at least for me it was Pretty hard, I think men in overall is more interested not in metal but in learning guitar, etc. Nowdays I only organize these events for them to play but it's not happening for now because of this damn virus, But I had tons of fun practicing with the band.

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@Strawberry If for some reason you prefer the perspective of another male on this subject, this guy makes some really good points. Perhaps you should take some time to scroll through the comment section and you'll find that several other women have experiences similar to mine.

I do find it very interesting and a bit ironic that you're quick to shoot down my personal experiences as a female metal fan in a thread you created about sexism and women who like metal.

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I read an interesting interview with Svalbard singer and guitarist Serena cherry. She said her in her experience of metal music industry, is that if your face doesn't fit the mould which must include females(i.e if you don't look like a model) then opportunities are so much harder. I wonder if there's anything to this. 

6 hours ago, Depraved said:

@Strawberry If for some reason you prefer the perspective of another male on this subject, this guy makes some really good points. Perhaps you should take some time to scroll through the comment section and you'll find that several other women have experiences similar to mine.

I do find it very interesting and a bit ironic that you're quick to shoot down my personal experiences as a female metal fan in a thread you created about sexism and women who like metal.

Well put. Complex questions rarely have an easy answer that actually truly works. Never that simple imo.

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It looks like we're going to go by our personal experiences. So I can see what every person is saying and see that they're all right, based on experience. 

I've been in the metal scene for around 30 years and I can relate mostly to Depraved's experience. It's true that there appears to be a much bigger female fanbase in gothic styles of metal, but all others seems to have a significantly less female fanbase. 

I have heard some people in bands make sexist comments and also see that macho meat head mentality among some metal heads, but I would say that's the few among many, many others that aren't like that at all.   

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21 hours ago, Yowie said:

It looks like we're going to go by our personal experiences. So I can see what every person is saying and see that they're all right, based on experience. 

I've been in the metal scene for around 30 years and I can relate mostly to Depraved's experience. It's true that there appears to be a much bigger female fanbase in gothic styles of metal, but all others seems to have a significantly less female fanbase. 

I have heard some people in bands make sexist comments and also see that macho meat head mentality among some metal heads, but I would say that's the few among many, many others that aren't like that at all.   

What about all those nightwish, epica, within temptation type bands. Are these counted as gothic also. There massively popular. Much more so than the band's I see normally see often playing big venues. Pallbearer last time I saw themhad to downsize venues n  because lack of ticket sales. 

 

I'm with you on disapproval of sexist metal fans though. I suppose depends on mentality of the fans. I heard of a female metal singer who was sexually assaulted by obituary fans at wacken of all places which is not what you expect. She managed to punch her way out. Obviously such behaviour and type of music may put off lady fans. Personally I think there's alot of high profile women already in metal even if it's singers mostly. 

On 4/7/2021 at 5:05 PM, Athame said:

True haha the only band that all members are female I can remember Is Nervosa and Boy, these girls represent! Hard to say why...me and a friend was learning instruments (I was trying drums and she was trying guitar) but we ended giving up so soon because at least for me it was Pretty hard, I think men in overall is more interested not in metal but in learning guitar, etc. Nowdays I only organize these events for them to play but it's not happening for now because of this damn virus, But I had tons of fun practicing with the band.

You might be on to something. There's no reason why women can't play any instrument in metal band but they are not.maybe it's the hours of practice needded that puts them off. Well it put you off😁

 

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4 hours ago, blaaacdoommmmfan said:

What about all those nightwish, epica, within temptation type bands. Are these counted as gothic also. There massively popular. Much more so than the band's I see normally see often playing big venues. Pallbearer last time I saw themhad to downsize venues n  because lack of ticket sales...

 

Yeah, I personally consider those bands to fit in with the goth scene. 

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